Zurich Cantonal Bank has presented plans for a cablecar link crossing over Lake Zurich, which it plans to build to help mark the bank’s 150th birthday in 2020.
A request for approval has now been filed with the Federal Office of Transportexternal link (FOT), the bank said on Friday. It expects the FOT’s decision by summer 2019, and work could start in autumn the same year.
The “Zuribahn”, as the project is known, is expected to cost between CHF40 million (USD40 million) and CHF60 million. It will be paid entirely by Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) as a gift to the city. The aim is that it should be profitable after five years, says the bank.
According to the plans it would have 18 cabins, each able to carry 24 people between the Mythenquai beach on one side of the lake to the Zurichhorn park on the other.
The project has already been approved by Zurich city and cantonal authorities, but it faces some opposition from the public. Many people fear that it will scar the landscape and lead to more traffic. Some 2,200 people have signed a petition against the project.
Architectural plans unveiled on Friday should allay the aesthetic fears, according to project director Rolf Rufer. “Of course we did visualisations. The view of the Alps is not spoiled and the architectural project integrates with the scenery,” he said.
The bank is also planning a partnership with Swiss Federal Railways to try to limit car traffic around the lake. According to Rufer, the project, if it becomes a reality, could be an interesting urban transport solution that could inspire other cities like Basel or Geneva.
Switzerland has many cablecar links in mountainous regions, but rarely builds them in urban areas such as congested Zurich.